Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pancakes At Carillon, Perth WA

I think it has become some sort of a mini mission of ours to eat our way through famous pancake stalls throughout Australia. Having tried Pancakes On The Rocks in Sydney and The Pancake Parlour in Melbourne, it was time to try out Perth's offering - Pancakes At Carillon.

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The Place & Menu

Originally established in 1983, Pancakes at Carillon is located on the upper level of the Carillon Arcade and is apparently Perth's best pancake restaurant. The place looks like your average diner with a couple of hard back seats upholstered with fabric and bright white washed walls.

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Carillon Chicken Pocket

This was essentially chicken fillet and bits of mushroom smothered with cream sauce and wrapped up in a crepe with Parmesan cheese  melted onto one side to form a crusty surface. Pretty decent except that the crepe did come across as a little too thick for my liking and the cream sauce was a tad too diluted.

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Wagyu Beef Burger

I don't usually order burgers at a pancake joint but I don't know what got into me that day. Nonetheless, the wagyu burger was decent but the patty's texture tasted like it came out of a machine and was a tad too soft. The Turkish buns (which are very popular in Australia) were essentially tasteless but well toasted.

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The buttermilk pancakes were fluffy but a tad too thick for my liking. Coupled with grilled bananas that tasted like they hadn't been through the grill and fast melting ice cream, this dish was quite a let down in terms of the overall taste. Definitely nowhere near Pancakes On The Rocks.

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With a 25% discount due to a coupon promotion, the final bill for lunch came to about AUD 35 (AUD 46.90 or SGD 48 at time of consumption). Prices are reasonable by Aussie standards but I'm not so sure I would want to return, seeing how relatively poor the service was at the beginning (They didn't seem interested in seating us and we stood outside the outlet for quite a while even though the place was almost empty. But to be fair, it got a lot better afterwards).

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6.5/10
Service: 5.5/10
Food: 6.5/10
Value for money: 6.5/10

Overall: 6.25/10

Address: Shop 66/67 level 1 Carillon City, Hat St Mall End, Perth 6000

Contact: (08) 9322 6177

Opening Hours

Monday to Thursday - 9am to 430pm

Friday - 9am to 9pm

Saturday & Sunday - 9am to 430pm


Monday, October 21, 2013

Hippo Creek Bar & Grill, Perth WA

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Owing to a recommendation, we dropped by Hippo Creek @ Karawara for dinner one Saturday evening.

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It being a Saturday, the place was packed and we were made to wait for about 15minutes even though we had a reservation. Tables are spaced relatively closed together and the whole place is noisy, by virtue of the restaurant being integrated with a bar. Lighting is kept dim as you would expect from an upper scale restaurant.

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Chicken Ballotine

The chicken ballotine came stuffed with rather soft and clumpy risotto with the meat a tad on the dry side. The hint of rosemary perked things up a little but the real star was the cream sauce which was drizzled generously over the chicken - creamy without being too thick or nausea inducing.

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500 Day Grass Fed F1 Wagyu Beef Sirloin

Weighing in at a rather hefty 300g, the sirloin was by all admissions, pretty good. Chargrilled till a perfect crisp on the outside yet retaining its moisture on the inside. Only tiny gripe I had was that the meat was a wee bit lacking in natural sweetness. And the accompanying mash was horrible so skip that.

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Pork Spare Ribs & Botswana Beef

I didn't get to try the spare ribs but the Botswana beef was rather lacklustre in comparison to the Wagyu beef sirloin so just top up the difference and go for the wagyu in my humble opinion.

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie

I am quite a sucker for salted caramel stuff and this was honestly quite decent. Rich chocolate brownie with a slightly crusted exterior belying a semi molten center. The accompanying scoop of ice cream tasted very bland and melted way too fast though.

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Overall, dinner was a rather pleasant affair save for the persistently high noise level. Pricing was reasonable by Aussie standards (AUD 205 or approximately SGD 256 for 4 pax) but service, though friendly, did seem a little disoriented at times. Seats are quite difficult to get so reservations are highly recommended!

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6/10 (Noisy and packed)
Service: 6.5/10
Food: 7/10
Value for money: 6.5/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Address: Shop 55, Waterford Plaza, Cnr Manning Road & Kent Street, Karawara, Western Australia 6152. 2 other outlets @ Subiaco and Hillarys.

Contact: (08) 6141 9800

Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday, 11:30am - 12am

Sunday, 11:30am - 10pm


Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Happy Wife, Bunbury WA

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Happy wife, happy life. The slogan says it all for The Happy Wife, a small cafe tucked in Bunbury, Western Australia's third largest city and our brunch stop en route back to Perth. 

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The Place

Housed in a dark blue standalone building, this small cafe (probably 30 pax tops) is perpetually bustling with people but there is a natural coziness to it if you sit up front where the counter is located. The seats in the back porch are more suitable for warmer weather as they face a small river and there is no shelter from the chilly winds.

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Hot Choclate (AUD 2)

Thick hot chocolate served with 2 marshmallows on a chilly afternoon - just what we needed. And at AUD 2, it's a steal by Australian standards.

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Smoked Chicken Salad (AUD 22)

The salad had fresh greens coupled with bacon strips, sun dried tomatoes and generous smoked chicken slices. Decent but nothing too out of the ordinary.

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Ham Benedict (AUD 18)

Now this was pretty different from the usual eggs Benedict dish. The muffin base was toasted to a crisp, lightly brushed with butter and topped with thick slices of ham drizzled with honey and a poached free range egg. I personally thought that the egg yolk could be a little runnier but I still liked the overall taste of this dish.

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Both of us chalked up a bill of AUD 46.50 (~ SGD58 at time of expenditure) which is pretty reasonable by Aussie standards. Food was decent but I wouldn't purposely make the trip down just to dine here. Service was great though.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7/10 (Nice cheery place)
Service: 7/10
Food: 6.5/10
Value for money: 6.5/10

Overall: 6.75/10

Address: 98 Stirling Street, East Bunbury, WA 6230

Contact: (08) 9721 7706

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday 6:30-3:30

Saturday 7:30-2:30


Monday, October 07, 2013

Krispy Kreme

My first memory of Krispy Kreme dates back to the turn of the millennium when I was still a struggling student in Canada. Then, Krispy Kreme stalls were far and few and we had to drive a considerable distance just to get our hands on the doughnuts. I remember queuing in line at the drive through during winter and the staff going from car to car to give us piping hot doughnuts as an incentive to queue on. And it was those doughnuts that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling and kept me going back.

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My First Memory of Krispy Kreme @ Mississauga, Ontario in 2001

Fast forward 12 years and Krispy Kreme is finally opening in Singapore on October 12, 2013 @ Tangs basement. And they were kind enough to send me 2 dozen glazed donuts to sample.

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The Doughnuts

The general rule of thumb, as advised by Krispy Kreme, is to heat up your doughnuts for 8 seconds in the microwave if you can't have them fresh from the counter. And that's what I did. The result? A soft, fluffy doughnut that that threatened to give me diabetes with every bite. But I love it! Just that I don't think I should be eating too much of it for obvious reasons.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: NA
Service: NA
Food: 7/10 (A little too sweet though)
Value for money: NA

Overall: 7/10

Address: Tangs Orchard Basement